Girl on Trial

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Pub Date 24 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2023
BooksGoSocial, CamCat Books

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Does doing one bad thing make you a bad person?

Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of a family of four, including young children. Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous, making this the nation’s biggest trial of the year. But what really happened that fateful night—and who’s responsible—is anything but straightforward.

Living in a trailer park in Baltimore with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s had to grow up fast, and like any teen, has made questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to fit in with her peers. Will her mistakes amount to a guilty verdict and a life in prison? It’s up to the jury to decide.

For readers who enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Does doing one bad thing make you a bad person?

Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of a family of four, including young children...

Advance Praise

"“Readers will be on edge as Emily’s decisions lead her to become involved in and vulnerable to dangerous situations… The epilogue brings the roller-coaster ride to a satisfying conclusion…. Gripping, tragic, but ultimately hopeful.” - Kirkus Reviews 

“Kathleen Fine has written a compassionate, thought-provoking thriller that will have readers asking themselves big questions about redemption while also turning the pages with breathless anticipation. From her opening pages, Fine grabbed my attention and didn't let go until I closed the book, hardly twenty four hours later. Fine's story reminds us that everyone has a backstory and that the root of empathy involves discovering the particulars of someone else's history with an open heart and mind.”

-Christie Tate, Author of Reese’s Book Club and NYT bestseller GROUP: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life and B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost & Found

“In her sharp debut Girl on Trial, Kathleen Fine deftly weaves the past with 16 year-old Emily Keller’s present-day manslaughter trial, allowing readers to put together the puzzle pieces of what really happened the day everyone says Emily killed an entire family. With her vivid characters and a well-developed setting, Fine evokes compassion for people trying their best and reminds us that there’s more to every story than meets the eye. Girl on Trial asks readers to wonder: are we more than our biggest mistake, and does everyone deserve redemption?”

-Jessie Weaver, author of Live Your Best Lie.

"“Readers will be on edge as Emily’s decisions lead her to become involved in and vulnerable to dangerous situations… The epilogue brings the roller-coaster ride to a satisfying conclusion…...

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ISBN 9780744306835
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 124 members

Featured Reviews

Kathleen Fine has a unique writing style, and is able to elicit very vivid imagery within the reader through what I can only term to be 'practical' imagery. On one occasion, I read about a broken hearted girl's 'Swiss-cheese heart', and on another occasion, a man's eyes that were blue like the flames on a gas stove. I honestly can't think of another time where my mind conjured up an image as fast whilst reading a book.

Writing style aside, Fine writes a crime-style novel that is at its heart, a crime-stopping novel. Trigger warnings for: sexual assault, substance abuse, etc are duly provided at the onset of the book.

As for the plot itself, the first third of the book was strong, the middle drooped somewhat but then picked up pace again. However, at the end I felt that the two timelines we were following from the beginning of the book become unnecessary and aimless. The timeline set in the past seemed to not add much at the end of the book, other than some family memories and good vibes. One time would have been fine, but after that, it became too many.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading some 'Fine' material again!

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A high school girl, Emily, longs to be popular. She begins to go against her personal morals and make questionable decisions to fit in with “popular” girl, Hannah. When a family dies, Emily goes on trial to determine if she is at fault. (I don’t want to give much detail because I don’t want to give to much away)

Okay, this one started a little slow for me--BUT I am so happy I kept reading. After a few chapters I was HOOKED. This story is told in multiple timelines that are broken up nicely throughout the book and come together PERFECTLY at the end. The trial in this story slowly unfolds in a way that makes you NEED to keep turning the pages. There are the perfect amount of twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. This story is perfect for those that love suspense!

I will absolutely recommend this book!

Girl on Trial will be released October 24, 2023!!

Thank you so much to Kathleen Fine and CamCat books for this gifted ARC!

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Loved this family drama. Bravo!
Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

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Synopsis (from Netgalley, the provider of the book for me to review.)

Does doing one bad thing make you a bad person?

Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of four family members, including young children. Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous, making this the nation’s biggest trial of the year. But what really happened that fateful night―and who’s responsible―is anything but straightforward.

Living in a trailer park in Baltimore with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s had to grow up fast, and like any teen, has made questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to fit in with her peers. Will her mistakes amount to a guilty verdict and a life in prison? It’s up to the jury to decide.

My answer is no ... we all make mistakes but Emily is kind of heinous. And devious. and Unlikeable....this book will be very polarizing so I will recommend it to book clubs and my patrons will eat it up as well. Expertly crafted, utterly readable --- fantastic book!

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Firstly thank you to NetGalley and they author for an ARC of this book. This is the authors debut and it was certainly a five star read for me.

The story is of teenager Emily Keller dubbed “Keller the killer” who is on trial for the manslaughter of a family of four. The book jumps back and forth from the days of Emily’s trial and also the days leading up to the incident in question.

I raced through this book and found it hard to put down. The story covers sexual abuse, rape and self harm and is also quite a sad thriller. I can’t wait to read more from Kathleen Fine

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The chapters changed from past to present and really hyped up the mystery of the book. At first, I wasn’t really sure I liked the story, but I kept reading and it did get better. Such a heartbreaking story, but also very eye-opening!

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Emily and her twin brother Nate live with their single mom Deborah in the small trailer she’s 16 and has always wanted to be part of the popular group and although she’s had a lifelong friend in Steph the grass always seems to be more greener at the popular girls house. So when a girl named Hannah who is part of that group starts wanting to hang out with them Ali she is Uber excited about it she even invites Hannah over and they drink some of her mom Deborah‘s beer because Deborah is a big-time alcoholic and this makes Hannah think Emily is cool when they go to babysit the Thompson’s girls Kayde and Sophie Emily isn’t comfortable with leaving them home alone to go across the street to the park to meet Hannah‘s boyfriend topper in his best friend chuck due to her wanting to be popular she does it anyway and when Chuck acts like he was owed sex for his appearance at the park she is totally turned off by him and eshe’s glad to make her escape when little Sophie woke up. She also finds it weird that Hannah thinks Mr. Thompson is good looking and when Emily runs into him at the thrift store and he insist on buying her expensive boots and then taking her home she gets a creepy feel from him so when he drops her off she is happy to get out of the car. One night after a party however when Emily gets sick from too much drinking she asked Hannah to bring her home but Hannah said she will call her a car only for creepy Mr. Thompson to show up and instead of bringing her home he brings her to his house because his wife and two daughters are out of town and he totally takes advantage of the situation and it leaves Emily traumatized so when Hannah once again ask her to babysit the Thompson’s kids because she herself will be out of town at her grandmas funeral Emily refuses but when her mom finds out she guilt Emily into doing it everything goes wrong and Emily finds herself on trial for the families murder. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I also enjoyed the fact that the author made it clear that money and status does not make good parents in bad parents can be found at any class level. Emily‘s mom loved her and her twin brother Nate but at the same time was an enabler an alcoholic and a serial dater but having said that I still love this book and highly recommend it I want to think Net Galley and books go social media for my free Ark copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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I liked this story about 16-year-old Emily
It's a thought-provoking tale
You realise how quickly a young person can get themselves into bad situations quickly
The need to fit in and be accepted is at the heart of this story
Recommended reading

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thanks to netgallery & camcat books for the free earc in exchange for a fair and honest review!

this story is perfect. i have absolutely no qualms with the story. it's amazing, down to the pacing and characters. the origin of my complaints is the writing style. from the beginning, the writing was quite clunky and occasionally a little cringy - although this calmed down a lot by the middle of the book. to me, it seems as if the first 100 or so pages need another round of editing. that is the only reason this isn't a 5 star book.
this is a perfect example of how peer pressure works, and although there were a surprisingly large amount of characters with very little plot relevance (nate, steph, the third triplet (why couldn't they just be twins?)) this could be completely disregarded in the name of realism. because i found this book to be so much more realistic than many other examples of how peer pressure and teenage mistakes happen. so give this a read. its worth it.

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Girl on Trial is an intriguing and captivating novel.

Sixteen year old Emily Keller lives in a trailer with her alcohol addicted mother and twin brother. She is unhappy with her life and is longing for acceptance and friends.

This longing has led her into becoming friends with a girl named Hannah, who also has scars but hides behind fake smiles and friends. This friendship is the biggest regret of Emily's life because she is now being put on trial for a crime she had no intention of doing. Would she get a justified verdict. You'll have to read to find out!!

The topics that strikes me when reading were peer pressure, social hierarchy and abuse (alcohol, drug and sexual). As teenagers, we are faced with trying to prove a point and this leads us to taking on and maintaining false pretenses.

While reading this novel, I remembered the phrase one of my high school teachers instilled in me. 'Friends will bring you, but they don't carry you back!!' This story of this novel is a classic example.

There were many emotions, I enjoyed this story as it reminded me of my teenage days and the problems we faced and tried to hide. Growing up in a distant household, I can relate to the protagonist because we share similar feelings.

This is the first novel I have read by the author Kathleen Fine. I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading more of her novels. The only disappointment was the ending was predictable. I anticipated the true culprit was indeed the person I assumed from the start of getting to know the character.

Regardless, it was a great story, my favorite character would have to be Nate Keller. He does not stray or allows his peers to instigate him. He knows what he wants.

I would recommend this book and I rate it 4 out of five stars.

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This one had me gripped from the very beginning. The story being told between the past and present made it easy to follow but also helped build the tension.

I liked the storyline and the pacing of the story was just right. The ending felt a little rushed after the entire story building up to that moment but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

This book also carried an important message about not being influenced by others!

This is an interesting, unique thriller and I would be interested in reading more of this authors work.

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This book is so great. I loved the way it's told in three different timelines and the way it starts near the end, as it made me want to read on to find out how we got to the place. The topic of this book revolves around the death of a family, including children and also some other events that could be very triggering for some to read so I would recommend that anyone thinking about introducing it into a school library reads it before they do so. However, it also deals well with peer pressure and the impact it could have on someones life. I think fans of crime and mystery books would really enjoy this book. I loved it.

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I absolutely adored this book! I was hooked by the first few chapters and couldn't wait to see it all end. The story itself is compelling and sheds a light on what we mean by accountability for our actions. The flashbacks are really useful and so wonderfully inserted to keep the reader on its toes.

It made me feel like I was reading the book version of Thirteen sometimes and I really enjoyed that!

I'd never read a story like this and I hope to see more.

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Emily was helping her new friend Hannah babysit for a family. An incident occurred and the family died so now Emily is standing trial for murder. This is an extremely gripping YA novel that has many twists and keeps you guessing throughout. It covers a range of issues such as self harm, sexual assault and abuse of power in a sensitive way. A brilliant read.

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This book follows 16 year old Emily Keller, aka Keller the Killer as dubbed by her community, as she stands trial for manslaughter following the deaths of four people (including two young children).

The story flips between past and present - which is not my favorite- but was important for context here. As a mom of young kids, some parts of this were extremely hard to read and also enraging at times. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters really, but I did feel for Emily who was just trying to fit in at high school.

But the story itself is gripping and I kept going because I had to know the truth. I’d say this book is equal parts heartbreaking as it is suspenseful. The chapters are super short, which made it easy to read.

I wish Good Reads would allow us to give half stars - this one would be a 3.5 stars for me.

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My first ever review of a book from NetGalley and WoW!! This book blew me away.
Emily Keller just wants to be popular, but a series of poor decisions leaves her in court for man slaughter. The story flips between the past, showing the events running up to her being charged, and the trial. I love thé format and found it easy to follow. I was gripped all the way through the story and I found myself not wanting to put it down which is always the sign of a great book! Highly recommend!!

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Emily wanted to be popular, to have a cool friend, someone to help her forget her life with her alcoholic mom and life in the trailer park. When she meets Hannah she thinks she has found that friend, someone to go to parties with and drink with, but Emily quickly realizes she is in over her head and when she ends up on trial for manslaughter she realizes how much she has lost her way. This was a great story about addiction in all his manifestations, friendship and taking responsibility for your own actions. There are some definitely some trigger warnings here for sexual assault and self harm but both topics are covered with dignity and care. A great book!

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This was such a good read! I’d highly encourage young girls 15+ to read this. It’s a heartbreaking storyline about how making a few stupid choices could truly change the rest of your life. I have been seeing this title around a bit and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to read it! As a mom and adult I still enjoyed this book because as a teen I didn’t make the best decisions either and the world in which we live today….. doesn’t make doing the right thing easy. Thank you for giving me the change to read this!!

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Thanks so much to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC copy of this book! My reviewing & platforms information is linked in my profile.

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Hooked me from the start despite not being exactly what I thought it was. Emily was an incredibly developed and believable character who faced some raw things.

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Man, what a story! It's been about a week since I finished it and I'm STILL thinking about it. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this one, but I was hooked after the first few chapters. I really liked the alternating timelines - each transition had just enough of a cliffhanger to keep me going without dragging things out or feeling repetitive. Maybe it was my Kindle version, but I do wish the chapter headings were more heavily bolded as there were times I became a bit confused as to what time period it was. I really loved Emily's character - I sympathized with her as well as cheered her on! Her relationship with Hannah was relatable as it can be hard to do the right thing when you want to fit in. That being said, I wanted more about her relationship with her old BFF. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending as it truly kept me guessing until the very end. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this author for more works in the future!

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Thank you Netgalley and Camcat Publishing for the ARC of Girl on Trial by Kathleen Fine. I really liked this book about Emily, a teenager, who is on trial for killing a family of 4, including 2 children. This story is about peer pressure, adults taking advantage of young girls, teen alcohol and drug use. The author did an amazing job telling Emily’s story. I look forward to reading more books by Kathleen Fine.

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Emily Keller is sixteen years old and lives with her often drunk mom and twin brother in a trailer park. She is a great student but she doesn’t have many friends. In an effort to become popular, she befriends a classmate who encourages her to engage in risky behaviors. Now Emily has been charged with manslaughter for the deaths of a family of four. Kathleen Fine uses multiple timelines to show what happened leading up to her arrest and during the trial. I couldn’t put this book down. The characters and situations were totally believable. Even the court testimony seemed like it could happen just as the author portrays it. Emily’s actions seemed typical for many high schoolers. There were even several unexpected twists. I highly recommend it. I thank NetGalley and CamCat books for giving me the chance to read this ARC and introducing me to this author.

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ARC Review - Girl on Trial


TW - SA, SH, Substance abuse

WOW this book was an absolute amazing read.

The story follows teenager Emily as she faces her trial for the manslaughter of the Thomas family. Going between the trial (current) and the past to layout to the reader the events that occurred.

I read this book super quick and was absolutely hooked from the get go. I have not read any of Kathleen Fine’s work before but after reading Girl on Trial I definitely will seek out more.

There are a number of serious topics discussed in the duration of the book with these issues being discussed in a very open and raw manner. There were also trigger warnings at the start of the book and helpline contacts at the end which I feel a lot more authors should do.

The book brings in the question of if a good person does a bad thing does that make them a bad person, using tales Emily’s teenage endeavours including both alcohol and drug use to do so. As we hear of these we see the teenage naivety and the impact peer pressure can have during these years.

Overall I just could not put this book down and can’t recommend it highly enough! Be sure to read yourself when the book is published the 24th October 2023

Thank you @netgalley and @kathleenfineauthor for the opportunity to read this amazing book🥰❤️

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I absolutely loved this book. I was sad when it was over. I felt like I was really able to put myself in Emily's shoes. The struggles of wanting to fit in, to hide your upbringing and ultimately making decisions and choices that do not match who you are as a person in order to accomplish this.

Trigger warning for this book regarding SA.

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For readers who enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

This was hard to read at times (due to the subject matter, not the prose) but I am glad that I did. A great, stressful Y.A. mystery/thriller.

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i cannot express how much i loved this book. like this was actually so good????

the story follows the current and past events of emily, known as, “kellan the killer,” who is on trial for the murder of a family of 4. the book starts out going through the current events and each day of trial while jumping to the past dates leading up to her trial. emily comes from a tough background always feeling the need to fit in and is determined to make friends and be popular; then she meets hannah and everything starts taking a turn for the worse.

CAN WE JUST APPRECIATE THAT ENDING AND THE CONSTANT TWISTS AND TURNS???? like this book was so good it was baffling. i will be recommending this to anyone who loves a juicy thriller. i could not put this down for the life of me. this book goes into the dark side of broken family’s and mental health and i feel like it was portrayed so well. i found myself relating to emily so much throughout the story. i really appreciated how well this was written and how smoothly it flowed. the only reason i knocked it down a star was solely because it wasn’t an absolute favorite and i don’t like handing out 5 stars unless i’d sacrifice my life for a book.


thank you netgalley, camcat books, and kathleen fine for a copy of the arc in exchange for an honest review!! <3

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This book is a little peculiar, when one speaks of children who committed crimes I am always conflicted, I cannot help but think that the child is the first victim. That said I loved this book and I recommend it.

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When starting this book, I didn't know quite what to expect. Girl on Trial? For what? This wasn't a fender bender, or a case of underage drinking. Within a couple of pages, I was completely sucked into the story, and invested in this character's future. The main character was well written, and easy to relate to, as we have all been through high school and understand wanting to have friends. It is a timeline jump book, so most chapters alternate, but they were very easy to follow and immediately picked up where it left off. If you have an issue reading books like this, I would STILL recommend this, as you could easily read the past chapters in order, and then go back and read the current happenings. Some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, as they came across somewhat one dimensional, such as Nate, who is supportive, but doesn't add much to the plot itself. The twist and the way the information was slowly dripped to the reader make up for that small critique. I would love to see more by this author!!

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Emily Keller is on trial for the deaths of four family members, but what happened that night isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.

This was a very solid four star read for me. I flew through this one in just a few hours - from beginning to end, I found myself guessing and guessing what might happen.

There were some parts of the story that did seem a little obvious to me and some of the phrasing was strange (Nate & she rather than She & Nate), but overall, I could never have guessed exactly how this story would end.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Abuse, neglect, self-harm, addiction (narcotics & alcohol), rape.

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*

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This book deals with serious subject matters and because of this it felt hard to keep reading. But I'm glad I did and I'd read more by the author

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Kathleen Fine’s debut is about 16-year-old Emily Keller, or “Keller the Killer”, who is on trial for the manslaughter of a family of four. The book follows a dual-timeline structure, where one chapter follows the events leading up to the deaths of the Thomas family, and the next follows Emily’s trial in court. In the chapters prior to the trial, Emily is quite an unlikeable narrator; she is judgmental, jealous, and desperate for attention. These characteristics mean that when she starts a friendship with a popular girl, Hannah, Emily is willing to do pretty much anything to stay in Hannah’s favour; drinking, drugs, meeting up with older boys, going to parties, and being negligent babysitters. I really enjoyed the flipping between different timelines as it kept me engaged, and the short chapters meant that the pace was very fast-moving. I especially liked the courtroom chapters, as I felt they were done really well; they weren’t meanderingly dull but kept to the point and told us exactly what we needed to know.

Emily’s unlikability and immaturity also begs the question of whether forgiveness and redemption are really possible, as Emily makes a lot of mistakes throughout the book - but were they enough to amount to murder?

This really reminds me of a cross between the hard-hitting content of Girl in Pieces (Kathleen Glasgow) and the suspenseful mystery elements of A Good Girl's Guide To Murder (Holly Jackson).

Content warnings: alcoholism, drug use, sa, sh, child neglect.

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Emily’s on trial at 16 years old for the deaths of the Thomas family.

There’s more than meets the eye with this story because you have social class, high school politics, sexual abuse, neglect, substance abuse, and more.

Glimpsing into Emily’s thoughts through multiple timelines showcase the complexity of making a decision - one that could alter her life forever.

While I enjoyed the book, I do hope that the final version of the Kindle ebook improves readability as my copy had words without spaces, random line breaks, the authors name inserted throughout various pages, and overall formatting issues that made the book less readable.

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*

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This was such an interesting and intriguing novel to read, I enjoyed it very much. I could not put the novel down and finished it within a few days, which is good for me.

We meet Emily, young at only 16 but on trial for the murder of a family of 4. Whoa this book really knocked me for six and I ploughed my way through it.

The story is multi-layered and features what has happened in the past and how Emily is in the predicament that she is. The content of the novel covers some sensitive subjects and you really feel for the main character and see why she is the person she is.

Some of the characters in this novel are highly unlikeable but I did warm to Emily as young girl who has been through a lot.

Thanks to Netgalley, Kathleen Fine and the publishers for allowing me a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Great heartbreaking story. I couldn't put it down.
Emily is on trial for manslaughter when the family she babysits for, including the two small children die due to her negligence.
It's a new school year and Emily wants to be popular and in order to do so, she makes a new friend.. Thanks to her new friend , she starts making a lot a bad choices with big consequences including that faithful night
The story goes back and forth between the trial, and past events that lead the deaths. Great storytelling while flipping between the two.

TW - sexual assault, self harm, drug/alcohol abuse

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The book is designated YA but the concepts are really heavy. There's alcoholic parents, absent parents, r@pe, abortion, drug use by teenagers including vaping marijuana, underage drinking, peer pressure, self-harm/cutting. My star rating for this book went up the longer I read it. I felt like the writing at times could be juvenile but the longer I dove in: I realized this was the author’s way of showing how young Emily was at heart, even though she was really struggling to impress other kids her age. The character development was really good within this story, and you felt sorry for and forgave and loved the characters. Emotions came back to me of that desire as a younger me to be accepted: And I mean, does that desire ever go away as an adult? How far will Emily go to “act cool”? Alcohol use is strong in this book, and honestly, even though I despise how many books have such strong themes of alcohol, atleast this one had a resolution for the abuse of the substance. (And the abuse of alcohol made the plot thicker, as the MC struggled with peer pressure and the use of alcohol by her mother and basically every other adult)

🥃 This line hit me some type of way:
“Emily glanced back and forth at the two adults in front of her, casually offering her a flask of liquor before ten in the morning in front of a courthouse.”

All in all, I really recommend picking this one up next month! It publishes 10/24: Keep an eye out!
This would be a GREAT book club book: lots of things to discuss on this one!

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Sixteen year old Emily Keller is starting her trial for causing the deaths of a family of four. The media calls her Keller the Killer. Living in a trailer park in Baltimore, her life hasn’t been easy but she never expected this.

I started this one last night before bed and didn’t finish it until it was over. I literally could not put it down. It starts with major suspense, wondering what the main character did and how, and doesn’t let up, quickly moving into the trial itself. There are a lot of topics here that will appeal to young adults- namely peer pressure and the desire to be included, but the suspense and drama keeps adult attention as well.

“Does one mistake make me a bad person even though I’ve lived my life being a good person? Can good people do bad things to good people?”

Girl on Trial comes out 10/24.

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I chose to read Girl on Trial after reading its synopsis, because I wanted to preview its appropriateness for the high school book club I advise. I had no expectations when I started the book as it is not a book I would typically pick up to read. The author, Kathleen Fine, astounded me with her writing style. I found this novel relatable and pertinent to the issues and concerns of today’s teens. Although the book does deal with tough subjects such as drugs, alcohol, rape, and peer pressure, these topics are covered in a very favorable format.

Thank you, NetGalley and BooksGoSocial, for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.

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We've all survived high school. Some of us were lucky enough to survive high school BEFORE social media. I thank God everyday I was one of them. This book took me right back to those rebellious years. The years of longing, and questioning and dying to fit in. Of wanting to be ANYONE but myself. Kathleen Fine wrote an incredible book that tells the story of what could happen (to ANY OF US) had we made the wrong decision. How in one split second your life can change. How wanting to be anyone but yourself can have deadly consequences. I loved this book, I feel like I lived vicariously through this book. When my children are of the right age, they will be given this book to read. Nothing sets the stage for high school like hearing tales of "What If."

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i really liked how the story was told with a dual timeline, alternating between the past events that led up to emily's conviction and the present day of her going through the trial. i also really enjoyed the short, simple chapters!!

i will say that i was a bit confused on a couple of things in the ending, but overall, it was a really engaging book!!

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"Girl on Trial" by Kathleen Fine takes readers on a gripping journey through the twists and turns of a harrowing courtroom drama, challenging preconceptions and exploring the complexities of human actions and their consequences.

At the center of the storm is sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, dubbed "Keller the Killer" by the media. Accused of a horrific crime that claimed the lives of multiple family members, including young children, Emily becomes the focal point of a nationally significant trial. The book delves into her challenging life in a Baltimore trailer park, alongside her twin brother and an alcoholic mother. It unravels the layers of Emily's desperate attempts to fit in, showcasing the difficult decisions she has made along the way.

The narrative is a thrilling exploration of broken families and mental health, delving unflinchingly into the dark realities that many face. Fine crafts a compelling portrayal of Emily's mother, a character that reflects the complex nature of addiction and its impact on family dynamics. Throughout the book, the plot twists and turns, keeping readers on the edge of their seats, navigating the intricacies of the trial and the characters' lives.

The writing is well-crafted, allowing the story to flow smoothly, pulling readers into the heart of the legal proceedings and the lives of the characters. The courtroom scenes, while engaging, may occasionally stretch believability, reminding readers that this is a work of fiction.

One of the book's strengths lies in its portrayal of the consequences of actions, reminding readers that every choice we make has far-reaching effects. The characters are meticulously developed, each with their own depth and unique personality, contributing to the richness of the narrative.

"Girl on Trial" does not indulge in unnecessary details or descriptions. Instead, it maintains a sharp focus on the plot and the intricate web of emotions and events that shape the lives of its characters.

In summary, Kathleen Fine's "Girl on Trial" is a thrilling and thought-provoking read, delving into the darkness of human experiences and the complexities of justice. With its engrossing narrative and well-drawn characters, this book is a testament to the consequences of our actions and the trials we face in our pursuit of truth and understanding.

3.9 rounded up to 4/5.

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Enjoyed the writer's style and descriptions. It started a bit slow for me, but once I got going it was really enjoyable! Thank you for the ARC copy!

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"Girl on Trial" is a gripping legal thriller that takes readers on a suspenseful journey into the courtroom, intertwining the past and present to unveil the circumstances that led the protagonist, Keller, to stand trial. The novel's fast-paced narrative and intriguing plot twists make it an addicting read, perfect for those who enjoy legal drama.

One of the standout features of the book is its ability to captivate readers from the very beginning. The seamless weaving of past and present narratives keeps the suspense levels high, encouraging readers to devour the book in a single sitting. The courtroom scenes are vividly described, providing an immersive experience that allows readers to feel like they're part of the legal proceedings.

However, as much as "Girl on Trial" excels in its storytelling and suspense, it does have its shortcomings when it comes to accuracy in portraying the criminal justice system. Some elements may come across as far-fetched or blatantly inaccurate to readers familiar with legal procedures. This can be a minor but noticeable issue for those seeking a more authentic representation of the legal world. I also found the writing pretty jovial - be forewarned it is YA.

In spite of these minor hiccups, the novel's strengths outweigh its weaknesses. It successfully delivers an engaging and thrilling story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Keller's character development and the exploration of her past make for a compelling narrative, adding depth to the overall plot.

In conclusion, "Girl on Trial" is a riveting legal thriller that will undoubtedly satisfy fans of the genre. Its ability to seamlessly blend past and present narratives creates an addictive reading experience, and Keller's journey is both captivating and emotionally resonant. While some aspects of the criminal justice system might not align with reality, the book's compelling storytelling ultimately makes it a worthwhile and enjoyable read.

Thank you to the publisher, author & NetGalley for my gifted copy!

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Oh my goodness! Where do I start from? From the moment I picked up this book I was hooked. I honestly could not put it down. I read this starting at breakfast and by dinner, I was done! I loved the way the story developed through both the present day trial and by going back to the actual events as they happened. I was rooting for Emily the whole way through and by the end was quite attached to the character. There are so many emotions throughout and I couldn't wait to find out what was coming next but at the same time did not want the story to end.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Gripping read … Emily dreams of being popular at school and making friends with Hannah is her gateway to this .. suddenly her life changes and she’s going to parties drinking and making bad decisions so much do she ends up on trial for murder . I loved the past/present chapters with a great twist at the end

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Trigger warnings for Girl on Trial include: sexual assault, substance abuse and self harm.

Sometimes I don't prefer books that jump between past and present day, but this one signposted the changes in time, which made it easier to read.
I found the characters to be likeable enough, and enjoyed the plot through the story. Some aspects felt a little too relatable, talking about how the person who might seem the happiest could be the person who's hurting the most.
I didn't like that Hannah and Emily didn't get justice for what happened to them, but I did like that everyone began to heal from their traumas and addictions by seeking help for it.
Overall, it was an interesting story, and one that kept me reading. I initially I tried to set myself page goals to get it read before I needed to post this review, that very quickly went out of the window as I got more invested in the lives of the girls and in the story.

Thank you to NetGalley for sending me an ARC copy of this book.

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thank you so much to netgalley and booksgosocial for an eARC in exchange for my honest review!


16 year old emily keller is on trial for the deaths of four family members (including two kids). in one of the nation’s biggest trials that year, emily is one of the youngest females accused of such a heinous crime. but, what really happened that night is what the court has got all wrong.

emily’s life hasn’t been easy, growing up in a baltimore trailer park with her brother and her alcoholic mother. like any other teen, she’s made many questionable decisions, but will her mistakes land her in prison?

what i liked:
-this book was set in maryland and was done SO WELL
-the twists??!??!?!!
-emily had so much depth.
-this was nearly impossible to put down and i lost so much sleep because i was up reading
-i normally hate switching from the past to the present in books, but i really enjoyed it here

what i didn’t like
-the only thing is that the ending was a bit rushed

trigger warnings:
-self harm
-death (including children)

wow. this book was incredible and i’m so glad i got to read it!!! the characters had depth and the plot itself was well-developed. i noticed that this book had a lot of mentions of maryland, as it was set there. and it’s kind of stupid, but it made me very delighted to find a book set in my state. i found out afterwards that the author lives in MD and went to the same uni as both my parents. just thought it was cool.

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"Girl on Trial" by Kathleen Fine is a gripping and thought-provoking thriller that delves into the complexities of the justice system and the question of whether one mistake defines a person's entire life.

The story follows sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, who becomes the center of a national trial after being accused of causing the deaths of a family of four, including young children. Emily, known as Keller the Killer by the media, is one of the youngest females to face such serious charges. The narrative explores the events leading up to that fateful night, as well as the trial itself, offering multiple perspectives and keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

Emily's character is both sympathetic and complex. Living in a challenging environment in a Baltimore trailer park with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily's life has been far from easy. The author skillfully portrays her struggles, decisions, and the desperate desire to fit in with her peers. As the trial unfolds, readers are left to question whether Emily's past mistakes should lead to a guilty verdict and a life in prison.

Kathleen Fine's writing is compelling, and she skillfully weaves together different timelines and perspectives to create a narrative that keeps readers engaged and emotionally invested. The book raises important questions about empathy, redemption, and the idea that people are more than their worst actions.

The praise for "Girl on Trial" from notable authors and Kirkus Reviews speaks to the book's quality and its ability to captivate readers. The story's conclusion provides a satisfying resolution to the gripping mystery surrounding the events of that tragic night.

Overall, "Girl on Trial" is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats while challenging their perceptions of justice, empathy, and the potential for redemption.

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Sixteen-year-old Emily is standing trial for the manslaughter of all four members of the family she was babysitting for on the night they died and the book follows her trial from start to finish, alongside past narrative of the events in the run-up to the deaths.

This is a great YA novel and I’ll be recommending it to fellow YA fans. It’s attention-grabbing and plot-twisty without being absurdly far-fetched. Emily is a well-rounded, believable character who you empathise with from early on in the book.

A really good read. Thank you to the publisher for access to this ARC.

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A suprsingly layered story with a great balance of past and present day narration.
The dark complications of teenage girlhood were tackled head on in this novel, while also being weaved into Emily's experience as the typical compromises we make as we mature. What starts are a small compromise can lead to an avalanche you can't control.
There were also a couple twists I did not see coming!
Highly recommend and interested to see what this author does next.

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What an incredible read!! This will go down as one of my absolute faves from this year. The entire story was a wild ride and kept me hook from the first page. This was written incredibly well, told in a fantastic manner. It left you feeling all types of crazy emotions and I truly just really love this read

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Wow. I love everything about this book! I really love how it jumps back and forth between perspectives, before and after, and I just loved seeing this story unfold. It was impossible to put down and i was disappointed when it ended, although the ending was fabulous! I loved the plot twist!

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This story has a lot of emotion throughout the entire story. Emily is a young girl just trying to fit in with the 'in crowd'. But the choices along the way puts her in big trouble in more ways than one. I really felt bad for Emily. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.

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I enjoyed the read and was pleasantly surprised by the easy shift of timelines, which can sometimes cause confusion in novels. The story kept me interested and I think this would be a great introduction to thrillers for young adults, especially with the consistent focus of peer pressure. I do think that they’re could have been more attention paid in the editing stage, but overall a good novel!

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An absolutely captivating story. I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole way through, despite guessing the twist at the end I was still on tenterhooks wondering whether the main character would be convicted or not. I had been a bit perplexed that that avenue had not been explored but I can’t say more without giving a spoiler.
The characters are fully immersive, believable and three dimensional and I felt a lot of thought and detail had gone into their creation. The overall premise of the story is intensely clever and the detail just keeps on building so there is plenty to catch your interest and a lot of moral food for thought and questions raised.
A young girl is coerced into babysitting and later that night the family perish and the question is were her actions or omissions the reason for their deaths leaving her criminally responsible for them. Definitely an original storyline and compelling from start to finish. Highly recommend, I very rarely give five star ratings.

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A great read and a real page turner.
The author kept me on the edge of my seat whilst simultaneously jumping back and forth in time.
Loved it.

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4 ⭐️

I thought this was a really well done story and I enjoyed reading it. Dual timelines + single POV are always a really fun way to unravel a story like this, and I think Kathleen organized and paced it well.

The characters were all incredibly believable, lovable but flawed, and overall came off the page as very human. I cared deeply about each character and how their lives would be affected by the outcome of this story. While the plot was interesting, I think the characters were the shining star of this novel.

I did feel like a little bit of the dialogue (spoken and internal) came off very “adult writing teenager speech” though I don’t think it took away from the story overall.

I appreciated the resources at the end of the book, as this story does cover quite a few heavy topics and would recommend triggers (rape - on page, other sexual assault, alcoholism, drug use/addiction) be plainly noted as some scenes were dark (though not graphic in my opinion).

All in all, I think this was an interesting plot line for a crime/court thriller type book and it kept me super engaged the whole time I was reading. I would definitely recommend this book and pick up something else from this author.

Thanks to Kathleen Fine, NetGalley, and CamCat Books for the ARC.

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Thank you to Kathleen Fine, CamCats Books and NetGalley for this E-ARC. These are my own opinions.

Girl on Trial follows Emily Keller during her trial for manslaughter of the Thomas family. The dualing timelines helped to understand why the deaths of the Thomas' happened. The two timelines (past: about two months before the accident and the present: the trial) come together at the end to a nice conclusion. This story broke my heart. It proves the saying "You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." Everyone had their own demons and I enjoyed how everyone got the help that they were needing. The characters were very well developed. Mrs Jelly was my favorite character.

**Trigger warmings**
Underage Drinking
Drug Use
Sexual Assault
Self Harm

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Don't judge this book by its cover. Even though it may seem pretty basic and nondescript, whatever happens between the pages is not.

I suppose I should mention a few trigger/content warnings here pertaining to r*pe, substance abuse, alcoholism, family dysfunction, cutting and underage sex/pregnancy. Wow, I know that seems bleak, and in a way it is, but these are all elements of the plot, and you should not be deterred, since they are presented as a reflection of the reality of society as it exists today.

<i>“Does one mistake make me a bad person even though I’ve lived my life being a good person? Can good people do bad things to good people?”</i>

'Girl On Trial' is the story of what happens when you make one bad decision. That can snowball and lead you down a path that destroys your life completely, and what happens when you make bad decisions repeatedly, only because of your own insecurities, and your desperate need to belong.
The story begins with Emily Keller, former addict, who has been clean for one year, and is sharing her story in the circle at Narcotics Anonymous.

Emily Keller is on trial at the age of sixteen. Her crime? Manslaughter of a family of four-husband, wife, and their two daughters, aged four and six. Everyone hates her, and the media has also coined a name for her - 'Keller the Killer'.

The story follows two timelines: one in the past that recounts the story as it actually unfolded, and one in the present, that covers the ongoing trial.

Emily lives in a trailer park with her brother Nate, and her alcoholic mother. They have no money, and sometimes they don't even have food in their pantry. Despite this, she is a good student, and knows that education is her ticket out of her trailer park life in Baltimore.

She's had a best friend, Steph, since childhood, but they drift apart, because she feels that Steph is childish, and she can't really relate to her anymore. She's looking to be part of the gang of cool kids.

She becomes friends with Hannah, and is so desperate to be accepted by her, that she goes along with whatever she says, even if she doesn't want to. Her friend drinks, lies to her parents, is promiscuous, and even though Emily is not comfortable with her friend's lifestyle, she goes along with whatever she suggests.

One day, takes her to the home of the Thompsons, for a babysitting gig. It is this seemingly harmless thing that sets the ball rolling and plunges Emily into a downward spiral that destroys her life and takes her from a clean-cut, straight-A student to becoming 'Keller the Killer'.

You may be tempted to think that with a background and family like hers, it's only inevitable and a matter of time that she would end up where she is. And would you really want to read about a FMC that has killed an entire family? Yes, she's on trial, and she's innocent until proven guilty, so you might want to give her a chance.

As an adult, it seems inconceivable to me that someone would endanger their whole life and future, just for acceptance from their fellow-students (who never accept her anyway). But this is a sixteen-year-old girl that we're talking about.

Her mother is an alcoholic who is working most of the time, and passed out drunk the rest of the time, she has no father figure (he skipped out on her mom when she got pregnant), they have no money, and very little food, and yet she has managed to remain on the straight-and-narrow and keep her nose clean, and be a good student to boot. She just longs for ONE GOOD FRIEND, and unfortunately for her, she picks the wrong one.

There were two characters that I really disliked in this story (well, more than two) but apart from Mr. Thomas (who was a complete and utter a**hole), and Topper and Chuck, the lawyer who did a bad job of defending her client, it was the mom and the character of Hannah that I really disliked.

Debbie is the very definition of white trailer trash, even if it's not PC to say that, but since this is a fictional character, we're talking about, I'll go with it. Right from the clothes, make-up, the alcoholism, substance abuse, promiscuity, and complete disregard for the safety of her kids, the complete and utter failure as a mom, she embodies it all. If her kids have turned out okay (till this incident occurs) she can take none of the credit for it, because they have mostly raised themselves. I mean, mess up your life as much as you want, but do good by your kids; don't turn them into an addict like yourself. Such a mess of a woman, that her daughter doesn't even have enough faith in her to tell her about the absolutely horrible thing that happened to her.

Emily herself is pretty annoying at times, that you just want to catch her and shake her. But again, she's sixteen. Imagine wanting to fit in so badly that you will do ANYTHING to win brownie points with your friend. Or not being able to say 'No' or put your foot down, even when it means putting yourself in harm's way. Imagine going back to a place and within close proximity of a person who assaulted you just because you gave into peer/parental pressure??!!

And Hannah…wow! She's a piece of work. You might think he has an excuse for her behaviour, but no. She's from a family that's doing well, she lives with both her parents, seems to have a normal family life, a car, no money problems, but yet, she's an alcoholic, lies to her parents, is promiscuous, shoplifts, lies, and is all-round a bad apple. But again, she's sixteen.

But what is unforgiveable about Hannah is that she brings her friend into a situation and into the periphery of a person who she knows by personal experience will most likely hurt her, She leaves Emily alone with this person, without any warning or concern for her safety. And despite this, Emily never questions her about why she would knowingly lead her into a situation like that. They behave like everything is hunky-dory in the end. Excuse me, what???

I can’t really say that anyone is likeable in this book, except for the two kids and also Nate. It's just a story of a girl and the underlying question of 'What if you had to make a different decision/speak up/ say 'No', etc. I think what it means to say is that even though you're what you consider a 'GOOD' person, you can still make bad decisions, or be punished for things that are not your fault. It can happen to anyone.

The reveal, or the 'new evidence' that comes to light was just a little bit lame and unbelievable. Why would a camera be placed in that location? He disregards all other necessary security measures yet installs a camera THERE? For what purpose?

Also, her lawyer couldn't come up with the argument by herself that someone else could have done what Emily was accused of doing? I mean, if other people were in the house, it seems like a logical assumption, right? It just seems scary to think that someone can just be arrested, vilified, and thrown in jail for something that they may not have done despite lack of concrete evidence.
Overall, an interesting book that I did enjoy reading and would recommend to other readers as well.

I wish to thank Netgalley and CamCat Books for a digital ARC of this title in return for an honest review.

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We all make mistakes as teenagers, sometimes even big ones. What happens when those mistakes lead to things we never intended for them to, maybe even death?

Emily has always been a 4.0 student. That is her ticket out of the trailer park, out of the town she grew up in. With an alcoholic mother and an absent father, all she wants is to be accepted by the popular crowd at school until she can escape from the life she has known and go to college. After a series of bad decisions, Emily finds herself on trial for manslaughter after the family she was babysitting for were all killed by carbon monoxide poisoning- even the dog.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest review of the book. I really enjoyed this look into the mistakes we make when we are young and looking for acceptance, and the unintended consequences of our decisions.

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I read this book in 2 days because I had a hard time putting it down. It is told from Emily’s POV in 2 timelines. One is the trial, and one is the past. I really felt for Emily, a teenager on trial for causing the death of an entire family. The book gets started right away on the first day of Emily’s trial so we don’t know much about what happened leading up to the trial. I was drawn in by Emily as her insecurities drove a lot of her actions in my opinion. This is a great read and you will love it if you like family dramas.

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Girl on Trial by Kathleen Fine is a phenomenal story about sixteen year old Emily as she struggles through a brutal prosecution of her character as she is on trial for the unintentional murder of a family of four. The novel is split mainly into two parts, the past leading up to the trial, and the trial itself.

Kathleen Fine does an incredible job at encompassing the overwhelming fear, guilt and heartache that Emily feels throughout the story, and at showcasing the tremendous effects that peer pressure and the ultimate desire to be accepted can do to a person.

The family dynamic between Emily, her brother Nate and their mother is a complicated and heart felt showcase on what alcoholism can bring to a family unit, and how it effects the children who deal with it in different ways. Emily is left with a deep and desperate need to be popular and seen as normal, making her incredibly vulnerable to peer pressure and manipulation.

There are a lot of heavy topics in this novel that I believe Kathleen Fine deals with delicately and with brutal honestly. Although tough to read at times, due to the subject matters discussed, they were written with care and consideration.

My only criticism is that some chapters included sentences that were clunky bringing me out of the story at times. Furthermore, the fast paced nature of the novel would sometimes feel disjointed and difficult to keep up with.

Overall, I rate this novel 4 stars as it was a page turner through and through, especially in the third act. It is incredible examination of what a trial like this could do to a young person, especially one so traumatised, and I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC.

Girl on Trial follows sixteen year old Emily through two primary timelines: the events leading up to the fateful Fall night where a family died, seemingly at Emily's hand, and the subsequent trial where Emily has been charged with manslaughter.

This was quite an entertaining read, particularly the ways in which the trial worked in tandem with the events of the past. I felt like I was kept sufficiently on the edge of my seat, and though the ending was one I was rooting for and certainly saw foreshadowing of, it still had some good surprising elements that made the payoff of the overall story feel incredibly satisfying.

I will say that the characters, particularly Emily, felt like they lacked a level of depth that I would have wanted from such a character-driven story, but I think that this didn't quite bother me as much as it could have simply because I was so interested in the details of what happened to the dead family.

In all, I think this was a solid read, certainly not perfect but still incredibly entertaining and interesting, and absolutely a strong debut.

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Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller is on trial for causing the deaths of a family of four, and although the case seems straightforward, it is anything but. Did Emily let her desire for acceptance go too far or were other factors at play? Will the jury believe her account of the evening or brand her as a liar?

Fine does an excellent job of portraying the deadly impacts of peer pressure and just how far some will go to feel accepted. The desire for acceptance and understanding is especially strong in teens/adolescents, and Fine really demonstrates how detrimental this desire can ultimately become if taken too far. Emily was an easy character to connect and empathize with, and I could feel her desperation for love and acceptance through Fine’s writing. This novel is an excellent read for teens as it demonstrates just how deadly peer pressure can become and the lengths it can drive a person to in order to feel understood.

This is an excellent YA novel and was an absolute pleasure to read and review!

** Content Warning: Mentions of SA, S/H, and substance abuse **

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Please see my full review on good reads! I reviewed it there first and now it won’t let me put that review here. I have also included the link to my full review. Great read!

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Being a Marylander this was an extra fun book for me because of all the references (Ravens, Berger cookies, etc). The book was very well written and I enjoyed the plot and how well we as readers got to know Emily and her life. I especially wasn't expecting the ending! I'm a twin too so the fact that Emily also had a twin brother was something I could relate to. I loved most of the characters and thought the story was well told.

I will caution others that this book included rape, alcoholism, and drug use.
There was mild formatting issues but as this is my first Netgalley book I'm unsure if it's a kindle issue or if this is normal. It kept repeating the title and author throughout the book randomly as well as the chapter headings were formatted weirdly. The timelines jumping between past and present were also very difficult to follow at times as I wasn't sure "where I was" so to speak.

Due to not being warned about the subject matter fully and the time skips being confusing and hard to follow at times, I give this 4 stars. I am interested in picking up other works by this author and hope they are also as gripping! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.

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The high school aged main character Emily is charged with the murder of a family of four. If that isn't a hook to a story what is? In this book it tells the story of a young girl who lives a less than ideal life in a trailer park with her twin brother and her alcoholic mother and all she wants is to be popular. So when the popular girl starts to give her attention it leads her down a path that ultimately changes her life. As a middle school educator, I see everyday the things kids are willing to do to fit in with their peers and so reading this book it was so believable to see the main character doing whatever she can to be friends with the popular kids, Books that have kids/teens in jail usually makes me uncomfortable and it turns me off from reading- but this book does it so well, and I couldnt wait to keep reading to see what was going to happen to Emily. Its clear throughout that what people think had happened to this family isnt quite what really happened. I think this book would be great for a higher middle grade student. If an 8th grader or higher asked me for a book recommendation I would tell them this is a great book to read. Some of the content in this book is more mature than I would give to anyone below 8th grade.
“Thank you NetGalley and CamCat Books for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.”

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This book was drama heavy and I loved every second of it. A really fun book to read that I enjoyed every second of. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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This book definitely raises some interesting ethical questions about how much we allow our actions to define us and if the choices you make as a teen should stay with you for the rest of your life. The author did a good job of interspersing two timelines to build tension. There were places where I found the tone of the dialogue a little hard to believe, but overall an engaging read with characters and storylines that stayed with me after I had finished the book.

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Really enjoyed the story telling by Katleen Fine about a 16-year-old on trial for manslaughter as the result of a babysitting error. The author does an excellent job of jumping from past to present. She highlights the struggle of teen girls need to be popular and how far they can go to be accepted.

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"Girl on Trial" by Kathleen Fine is a gripping and emotionally charged legal thriller that explores complex themes of youth, responsibility, and justice. The novel delves deep into the life of sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, a troubled teenager accused of a heinous crime. Fine skilfully navigates the legal proceedings, offering readers a front-row seat to the nation's most significant trial.

The narrative's strength lies in its multifaceted characters, including Emily, whose tumultuous life and questionable decisions add depth to the story. As the courtroom drama unfolds, the novel raises thought-provoking questions about guilt, innocence, and the consequences of one's actions.

Fine's writing is both compelling and empathetic, drawing readers into Emily's world and making them question the definition of justice. With its well-crafted plot, vivid characters, and moral dilemmas, "Girl on Trial" is a powerful exploration of the complexities of the legal system and the human condition, leaving readers pondering long after the last page is turned.

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"Girl on Trial" by Kathleen Fine delves into a gripping and morally complex narrative that explores the blurred lines between guilt and innocence, making it a compelling addition to the young adult fiction genre.

The premise revolves around the character of Emily Keller, a sixteen-year-old girl accused of a horrific crime that resulted in the deaths of four family members, including young children. The weight of this accusation and the enormity of the trial elevate the story to a level of suspense and intrigue that is sure to captivate readers.

Emily's background, living in a challenging environment with an alcoholic mother and trying to fit in with her peers, adds depth and complexity to her character. It presents an opportunity for readers to empathize with her struggles and questionable decisions, making her a relatable and multi-dimensional protagonist.

The central question posed by the book, whether one bad decision defines a person as inherently bad, is a thought-provoking theme that will resonate with young adult readers. It encourages contemplation of the complexities of human nature and the potential for redemption.

As the trial unfolds, readers are likely to find themselves engrossed in the legal proceedings, eager to uncover the truth behind that fateful night. The moral ambiguity surrounding the case keeps the narrative suspenseful and raises important ethical questions.

"Girl on Trial" promises to be a compelling and emotionally charged read, offering young adult readers an opportunity to engage with profound themes of justice, empathy, and the consequences of one's actions. Kathleen Fine's novel appears poised to deliver a thought-provoking exploration of morality and human nature within the context of a gripping courtroom drama.

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A difficult read, as other reviewers have pointed out there is substantial mention of drug abuse and sexual assault, but still a tale that needs to be told

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Holy crap I didn’t expect this to be so good! Fast paced and thrilling, I didn’t see the twists and turns coming! Definitely going to look at more by this author.

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This book was great! You are constantly on your toes! Once you think you’ve figured something out there’s a twist that you never saw coming! A great thriller that flowed well it never felt like the author was overcompensating for anything. Cant recommend this book enough!

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Girl on Trial was phenomenal. I could not put it down until I knew what happened. I enjoyed the writing style with the dual timelines, exploring both Emily’s relationship with Hannah and her trial for manslaughter. I will definitely look forward to more from Kathleen Fine.

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Wow. This book follows Emily in both the present and the past. Emily is currently on trial for the murder of 4 people. However, underneath all this is a girl just trying to find her way in life who made choices that are affecting her now. This was a quick-paced book that easily gets you intrigued.

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I really enjoyed the moral dilemma and big questions at the heart of this story and felt like the book was well written and executed well.

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Thank you netgalley for the arc! I really liked this book about a teenager, who is on trial for killing a family. This booked hooked me from the start and I found Emily was an incredibly developed and believable character. This story is about peer pressure, early adulthood and teen drink/drug use. I look forward to reading more books by Kathleen Fine.

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Kathleen Fine's Girl on Trial kept me flipping pages from beginning to end. The protagonist, Emily, had my sympathies from the start. On trial for manslaughter of a family she babysat for, teenage Emily seems to be the victim of circumstance. Just trying to find her way out of the Maryland trailer park and find a new friend, this story shows what can happen when you let yourself be peer pressured by those around you.

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Are you a bad person if you do a bad thing? Emily has always wanted to fit in…but at what cost? Should one mistake mark you for the rest of your life? Especially in the formative years. Thought provoking, well developed story.

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I only wanted to do one thing while reading this books: give a big hug to Emily. The author described really well the teenage mind, and the way addiction, anxiety, SA and everything is described is so on point! I really appreciated reading the book, I couldn’t wait to know every details!! The pace is really good, although impatient as I am I couldn’t wait to just know how it ended!!! I truly loved how each subject was addressed and lived a roller coaster of emotions from the beginning to the very end!! Will definitely read more of this author!

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I wasn’t sure about this book at first but by the end I was hooked! My main criticism is that the main character’s personality is a bit flat and under developed. Secondly, as a lawyer the evidence preserved in this trial was just shockingly unrealistic, which was a bit distracting. However by the second half of the book I couldn’t put the book down. The story is compelling and makes you want to keep reading. I think this could have been even better if the author had done more research to make the trial process more realistic.

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